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What is Corokia?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

Corokia is a name generally used to describe one of many species of evergreen shrubs usually found in New Zealand. This bush can grow anywhere from eight to 12 feet (2.44 to 3.66 m) in height, and typically has zigzagging branches. It normally produces tiny flowers that are yellow in color. These flowers tend to develop bright red or reddish-orange berries during the summer and fall.

There are approximately 11 different species of evergreen shrubs that are commonly referred to as corokia. Ten of these species are thought to be native to New Zealand, which is in the South Pacific. One type, the Argophyllum, is considered to be native to Australia.

These small trees generally grow in areas that are heavily forested. It is a hardy bush that can sometimes even grow in rocky areas. They usually prefer full sunlight, but can also sometimes grow in partially shaded areas.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

While the corokia shrub can grow to 12 feet (3.66 m) high, it can also spread to three to four feet (.91 to 1.22 m) in width. These plants sometimes have a very wiry appearance and often do not grow evenly in height or width. The branches of this large bush are sometimes in a zigzag pattern. This means the limbs might grow in opposite directions, and many times cross one another. One of the corokia bushes, the cotoneaster, is sometimes known as the wire-netting bush, mainly due to this pattern of growth.

These shrubs are often used in privacy hedges. They may also be placed in a corner of a yard or garden for ornamental purposes. The cotoneaster may even be used as a ground cover. They are usually easily pruned to any size and shape desired.

The bush typically produces yellow flowers that are mostly star-shaped. These blooms are likely to be in small clusters on the bush. The flowers are usually light yellow and can sometimes have a dark yellow center. They are typically surrounded by dark green leaves that are generally very thick and shiny, and may be white or silver-gray underneath.

In mid to late summer, the flowers of the corokia may turn into berry-like fruit. These are generally red or orange in color. The berries may sometimes be yellow, but this color is somewhat less common.

Corokia shrubs are often very attractive to birds because of their bright berries. These bushes might also provide cover for a number of small wildlife. They can add vibrant color to a dull winter landscape. People in New Zealand or Australia who want to attract animals or birds to their gardens may want to consider planting one of these small trees.

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